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“Excellent place for relaxation.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa

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Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Cap Estates, Cap Estate, St. Lucia   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Cap Estate
Oakville, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Excellent place for relaxation.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2011

I just got back from St. Lucia Smuggler Cover Resort. I have stayed at the resort for 7 days. It's excellent place for relaxation. It has 4 different restaurants in the resort. All you can eat restuarant, Cove restaurant, Asia & Thai Food, Asia Cafe, Italian Food, and waterside grill restaurant. You could choose what restaurants you want to go to, and some restaurants need to book 24 hours in advanced. During the noon hours, you could get BBQ food beside beach.

All the staffs are very nice and helpful, they all could speak well in English. Resort has a water sport center to supply equipments for all different water sport activities like water skiing, windsurfing, kayaks, pedal boat, sail boat. If you don't know they would love to provide you a lesson for learning how to play. I would love to thanks those people such as Diamien, and Sherman to provide excellent service.

My wife and I also join the different kind of activities, such as pilates. pilates teacher, stan has very good experience, and patience to show, and teaching us pilates during the lessons.

During the night, it also got some programs/shows. For example: Local dance, musical singing, and ..

one last thing you must need to try if you go there, there is a local guy called Typhoon in the beach will offer day trip for boating, and sighting seeing the island, swimming and snorkel at other beaches, shopping at the casteries market.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,260 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (822)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Blackpool
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2011

Before I start let me just say we had a great week at Smugglers Cove and if you have booked to stay here you will have a great, relaxing and chilled out time so don’t worry

That said this resort could be so so much more. Iam lucky to have done a fair bit of travelling at all budget levels from backpacking round India to 5 star Dubai and find that travellers expectations are the biggest thing that let them down.

St Lucia isn’t a cheap Caribbean Island (well not if booked in the UK) so any resort that advertise itself as a 4-5 star resort on this island will have certain standards and them all important expectations to live up to. Don’t get me wrong there isn’t anything majorly wrong with this resort but there are so many small things that they all add up.

It seems obvious to me that the pervious owners knew they were selling the property and failed to invest in it for a good 12 months leaving the present management in a position where they could spend a good million dollars plus without seeing too much new in return. They are spending money on a new spa which is an obvious thing to do as this will bring in an extra revenue stream but I hope the money they generate from this will go back into the resorts other facilities.

So those small things? Well it’s been commented on that the pools are dirty! There not (a little sand but your next to a beach) but they do need a repaint as the bottoms are stained and other touch ups. Décor of most of the accommodation especially the bathrooms need updating. Paths really do need more lighting at night bordering on dangerous. Other fixtures and fittings around the resort such as light fittings and public toilet areas need a lot of TLC. Beach towels are thread bare. Watersports equipment isn’t great but the team there are trying really hard. The beach itself is small and looks dirty yellow but this is due to the volcanic sand that is under the more usual yellow stuff rather than anything more serve

But the major thing that the management need to get a grip on is staffing. I know having been to the Caribbean that time works differently out here so have no problem with things been more relaxed but some staff haven’t been given clear direction by management and others are just rude which there is no excuses for. First off let’s get this right it’s not all the staff and a lot are fantastic including all the activity team and watersports guys. Restaurant staff need someone to come in and give them a shake a little and set out a plan so each member knows there job as there seems to be a lot of staff asking the same questions with no end result. These guys aren’t doing a bad job just not properly directed but some of the bar staff are just down right rude. Examples of this my wife who is 3 months pregnant asked what non-alcoholic cocktails do you have and jokingly said “surprise me with your favourite”, the response “Iam not doing that” and literally threw her a list of cocktails, ok so one grumpy bar tender one off right, No!!!! Time and time again with various different staff at all the bars similar shoulder shrugs and on one occasion I was even sighed at for having the nerve to interrupt a chat he was having with another bar staff member!!!!!!!

The other side of the coin the grounds are stunning and so well kept. The three speciality restaurants are also a very good standard with my favourite been The Waterfront and the holiday as a whole was very relaxed. Would I go back? Probably not but then there are so many other place in the world to visit but if you have booked to stay here with the right expectations you will have a great time and I just hope management reads these and others comments because with that extra time and investment this could be a real jewel

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nutley, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2011

I was skeptical after reading some negatives reviews but booked anyway and thank god I did! The resort is beautiful!! Upon arrival, we were greeted by the manager, Agnellus, and guest services staff who gave us cold towels and a rum punch. He then personally walked us to our beachfront room- definitely pay extra, it's worth it! I walked into the room and it was decorated with flower petals all over the bed and bathroom...placed in towels, etc. There was a complimentary bottle of wine and fruit platter. The manager wasn't even out of the room when Natasha from guest services called to ensure everything was to our liking! The room surpassed my expectations, the view, location, modern interior and AMAZING bathroom with japanese soaking tub, stand alone shower and granite everything! The bed was large and comfy and I had emailed the resort prior to arrival to inform them that this was a girlfriends getaway and could be possibly have a room with 2 queen beds but I was told the oceanfront are king size beds only and I could have a cot if desired. I declined, but when we arrived they had but a queen a size bed in the room!! That in itself sold me- they remembered my request and fulfilled and then some!
The resort itself is just lovely, lush with palm trees and beautifully, manicured gardens. The pools (there's a lot) were all clean and there was never a problem securing a lounge chair. There's a children's/family pool with a fun slide near the kiddie village. There's also a craft /souvenir village in the resort and there's different vendors so you can definitely bargain- I did!
The food is amazing for an all inclusive- I've been to many and SC serves fresh, delicious and a large variety of food. The Cove, which is a buffet, had made to order omlettes, etc for breakfast and the normal am fare with delicious muffins! The Italian restaurant was delicious, especially good for lunch as they have pizza. The Asian restaurant was very good, great service and I was quite impressed. The BEST restaurant was the Waterside Grill...it's a on a pier over the water so you can hear the waves crash while you eat. The food was to die for..best Mahi Mahi I've ever had!
I also want to note that I drink diet coke instead of coffee or tea for bfast and never got a rude face or refused diet coke at breakfast like I was at other all inclusive resorts.BIG plus for me!
Activities staff, wait staff and bartenders were all so accomodating and friendly- special thanks to Fiona, Wendell, Chocho, Jackie, Teardrop and Glen. There's def a few more I can't remember but everyone was so welcoming. I've read reviews that stated the staff was rude- I wonder, did you take the time to say hello, smile, ask how they were? It's their home, their island, engage them. I encountered only staff member who gave me a puzzled, confused look that could have been taken as rude but I chose not too. Oh, a special thank you to Lisa in reservations for being so attentive!
The beach is gorgeous, yes, the sand is darker...its indigenous to the island bc of the volcano. The water was clear, warm and refreshing. There were some rocks when you get in put just swim over them- I don't know how the resort can control that..it's mother nature. We did an excursion with Captain Typhoon...a 9 hour boat tour that included taxi's from Soufriere to Sulphur Springs and Diamond Falls, snorkling, lunch on the beach at Jalousie Plantation, stops at Marigot Bay, Pigeon Island, and many more. We paid directly thru Captain Typhoon, aka Peter, and I heard it was cheaper than the resort. $70 US per person. Also check out John Wayne on the beach, he's there daily and you can horseback ride on the beach at the resort or go on excursions.
I apologize for this long review, but I did a lot research and checked trip reviews often and I was blown away- SC exceeded my expectations. We met great people, families, couples, singles and had a great time at the bar and nightly entertaiment, which is broadway but you're in St. Lucia...what do you expect?
A few pointers..I'd book the oceanfront rooms as they are modern and luxe...many of the rooms, standard I believe are further away from the main area of resort. Bring bug repellant if you're prone to bug bites...I got bites on my ankles at night but bugs always seem to love me. My friend didn't get bit once. The fridge isn't stocked...you can buy sodas, waters, etc at the boutique near the lobby or outside of the resort. My only wish would be for the resort to stock. Some staff members were sweet enough to give me sodas, water for the fridge while others specified it was not in policy. I understand as they're watching their backs..it thier livelihood. Tip your maid, the 3rd day I left $10 US dollars and she went out of her way for us!!! Thank you Cynthia.
My advice...book this resort now! It's AMAZING, RELAXING and I wish I was still there! Thank you Smugglers Cove for a memorable vacation!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2011

Prepare for a 1 1/2 hour drive to the resort from the airport. We arrived in the evening so not much to see and tired after a 5 hour flight. We arrived at the resort and immediately were welcomed with a cold cloth and escorted to a meal at the Cove, Our room which was considered to be a standard room, turned out to be a very nice surprise, Enter into a cottage style cabin, very Caribbean, large sitting area; french doors to the bedroom and a nice size bathroom. Plenty of room for storage and very clean. Food was very good, especially the Asian Restaurant - great chef! The Italian Restaurant was not our favorite, but others enjoyed it very much. The Seafood Restaurant overlooks the ocean on a pier and it is spectacular, Food was excellent and it was a great change from having breakfast every day at the Cove (which is excellent too). Beach is not the greatest, but we still enjoyed our days soaking up the wonderful St, Lucia sun! Swimming and snorkeling were good at this beach; would have been much better if we had of taken a boat excursion out further. Try a zip lining excursion - what a blast! I was nervous about it, but so glad we went. We took the Estate Tour - one of the newer tours and it turned out to be just the one for those of us who were a little more timid in trying out the zip lining. We felt very safe and it is something I believe anyone would enjoy, young and older,. There is a lot to do in St. Lucia, do your research before you go and choose the trips that you feel you will enjoy, Some trips will take you back to the same areas (it is a small island), so keep this in mind when you are planning your outings.
Would highly recommend this resort to family and friends. We got a really good deal on this vacation. Some prices were very high. For the price we paid, it was worth every cent. In my opinion, it is a 4 star for sure. Don't expect a fancy hotel style resort - it is a resort set in beautiful surroundings, individual 4 cabin building make you feel that you are in a Caribbean paradise. We went for 7 days, wish we had more. Enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

My fiance and I stayed at smugglers cove for 10 days in March.
We read all the reviews and were a little worried about what we would actually find when we got there.
First of lets get the facts straight.....this is not an expensive resort.....it was very reasonable and with Virgin flights it was even better value.
Our room was basic but had eveything we needed...TV, fridge and most importantly aircon that worked! It also had a massive bed that was very comfortable.
The bathroom was maybe a little dated but most of all the entire place was very clean, and the maid was there every day to keep it that way (thank you).

The resort itself was very nice...set in acres of very well kept gounds.
All of the pools were ok and the beach was as described in the brochure.

Food was good and a good choice to keep everybody happy, no matter what your tastes and chef Ian always had a smile on his face.

Entertainment varied, but the dancers were superb and spent a lot of time practicing their shows...best Micheal Jackson I have ever seen!
The entertainment team could do with some better equipment though to help them but that is a minor niggle from someone who has been in the business....

So overall we had a great stay at the resort and would recommend it to anybody looking for this kind of break.

Forget the nonsense in previous reviews....the staff cannot do enough for you and are very friendly...no issues with security and all in all great value for money.
It may not be a 5* resort as some seem to expect but it doesn't cost 5* money either!

So give it a go.....Alan (aka Mr. Piton!)

Room Tip: Take the Heli transfer when you leave!!!!!
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo NY
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2011

We traveled with a group of 8 (4 couples) from Buffalo NY the wk of 20 March. First of all I want to say that the staff at this resort are great !! Nice, friendly people who always have a smile ! I need to give special kudos to Bryan, "Sweet 16", Lester, Thomas, Gregory, Jessica, and many others who I hate to leave out... Let me just say that a small tip goes a long way here - and I was disappointed that we seemed to be the only ones leaving a few bucks after meals, and at the bar. At the end of the day - these folks are taking care of families and work very long days, 6 days a week - so a few dollars should not be a big deal ! Overall food was very good - we ate at the restaurants every evening - with no issues getting reservations. Our favorites were the Italian Restaurant and Waterside Grill - Drink choices are a bit limited in that they only offer their local beer (Piton) and Heiniken - and only a couple other 'name brands' (i.e.Jim Beam and Sky Vodka). But the drinks are free flowing and overall good. We booked an all day trip with Captain Edmund (w/Captain Troy and Damond) - which was fantastic !! It was our best day ever ! Those guys are so great - we snorkeled, shopped, looked at the bats, fished, etc...I highly recommend these guys - although you wont' get an endorsement from the hotel or the various travel coordinators - it is completely safe - and in the event I go back - you can be sure they will be first on my agenda ! We also booked the Zip Line and Tram tour (Tranopy) which was also great ! Our guide Clyde was great and very supportive. It does take a very long time to get from the airport to the resort (as many others have said) - and the fact that we arrived very late on Sunday - and had to depart by 4pm the following Sunday - was disappointing, but no fault of the resort. We were at the mercy of the flight schedules. Our rooms were clean - but need some updating. (we had very small ants in the bathroom - not sure if this can be avoided all together - but this may go away if doors were replaced in the older rooms). The rooms were in a good location - right near the Piton Bar which was great and close to everything. Check-in an Check-out were a breeze !! And pool towels were plentiful - so it is clear that management is taking note of the prior complaints. Our maid was very good, and we always had towels...We were told that the week we were there - the resort was only 1/3 full - we never had any issues finding a chair or competing for a reservation. Overall it was a great vacation- very affordable, and I encourage others to go... Thanks to all at the Smugglers - it is clear you are listening and taking appropriate actions to make this a better resort !!

Room Tip: Take Captain Edmunds boat tour (Troy, Damond)
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2011

My wife and I went to Smugglers Cove with both sets of parents - a risky decision you might think! Not all of us had been to an all inclusive resort before but this was the perfect introduction. It was such a nice feeling to walk around, have a drink, do some water sports and eat in the restaurants without needing a wallet or purse on-hand.

Although the staff tend to move at the typical west indian pace, we couldn't fault them for friendliness and warnmth. We were made to feel so welcome throughout our stay.

The surroundings of the hotel are stunning and they seem to be beevering away at keeping them that way and improving things. The Waterfront Grill was such a lovely spot to end the day and La Tratorria was also great for a bite to eat.

I found the entertainment funny but our folks really got in the spirit of things and really enjoyed chatting to the other guests too.

All in all, it was a fantastic break and we wouldn't hesitate in returning. Did I mention the beautiful weather?!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa

Address: Cap Estates, Cap Estate, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Gros Islet Quarter > Cap Estate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Cap Estate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 360
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Smugglers Cove Resort And Spa
Smugglers Cove Hotel Cap Estate
Almond Smugglers Cove Castries
Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa St. Lucia/Cap Estate

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